February 19, 2018
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Columbia Generating Station supports good jobs, reliable power

Nuclear power from the Columbia Generating Station has a strong statewide impact that provides good jobs in rural Washington and carbon-free power for the state’s booming urban areas, a recent report shows.

The Columbia Generating Station has an annual economic impact of $690 million and supports about 2,800 jobs in Washington, plus 1,100 in other states, according to the report by the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Columbia Generating Station, based in Richland, provides good jobs for rural Washington, AWB President Kris Johnson said in a sponsored piece in the Seattle Times.

“Energy Northwest is an important part of the statewide economy and particularly the economy of Eastern Washington, which has not experienced the same robust growth as the state’s urban center,” Johnson said. “The jobs supported by the Columbia Generating Station are high-wage career positions that build strong communities.”

Nuclear plants employ a skilled workforce including engineers, licensed operators, electricians, pipefitters, mechanics and health physicists, among other professions, according to Energy Northwest.

Beyond the jobs, Columbia’s reliable power generation fuels the growing technology sector, the piece noted.

“Low electricity costs and plentiful green energy have contributed to development of data centers and the cloud computing infrastructure essential to Microsoft, Amazon and the state’s renowned information technology sector, as well as innovative companies such as BMW-SGL Automotive Carbon fibers and HiTest Silicon,” the article notes.

In 2016, Columbia Generating Station produced a record 9.6 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.

The report will be the subject of a public work session in the House Technology and Economic Development Committee tomorrow, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m.

For more information, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Mary Catherine McAleer at 360.943.1600.

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B&O Tax Relief for Manufacturers
Support All Manufacturers

AWB tells House committee, 'It's time to let all manufacturers win'

By Jason Hagey, AWB

AWB President Kris Johnson called on lawmakers to lower the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for all Washington manufacturers, not just those in some parts of the state, during a hearing Friday before the House Finance Committee.

In its current form, Substitute House Bill 2947 would lower the B&O rate for manufacturers in 30 counties. It would leave out nine counties, including many that consist largely of rural areas, such as Kitsap and Benton.

"It's time to let all manufacturers win," Johnson said, echoing language that Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Ballard, used during a floor speech last week on a separate measure aimed at boosting Washington's boat manufacturers. "We're going to let our fishing fleet win," Tarleton declared before the House voted 97-1 in favor of her bill.
Read the full blog and watch the video at Olympia Business Watch
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Avista sale is good for customers, community

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Six months ago, Avista and Hydro One announced plans to combine and form one of North America's largest regulated utilities. Since that time, as we've moved toward closing, our confidence has only grown in the benefits of this merger for all of our stakeholders, from our customers and employees to our shareholders and the communities we serve.

Given the central role that Avista plays in its service territories, both as an energy provider and a member of the community, we understand why customers and community members want assurances that they will continue to receive safe, reliable and high-quality energy at a fair price and that Avista will continue to be an active corporate citizen.

The short answer is that the proposed transaction is designed to help preserve -- and even enhance -- Avista's commitments to its customers and its communities. In a changing industry landscape, joining forces with Hydro One will help safeguard Avista's proud legacy and way of doing business...

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review
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